Among the many restaurants at which I had eaten, Karczma pod Strzechą at Dzierżenin, just 30-min busride from Warsaw, is the most traditional. It doesn’t try to modernise the Polish cuisine as other restaurants do, but instead, it serves homely, hearty Polish meals. It’s what Polish eat everyday.
It’s not merely a restaurant. It’s also a wedding hall and hotel with free parking. But as the homely decor (wood everywhere and fireplace) of the restaurant reveals, this is not a fancy place, but it’s typical and down-to-earth.
The food here is served in gigantic portions. This is because the place is usually a pit-stop and Poles want to eat a one-dish meal, similar to the concept of don (ricebowl) for Japanese.
So you can just order their Polish sour rye soup with egg and sausage in bread bowl (żurek staropolski z jajkiem i kiełbasą w chlebie, 13 PLN) and be full. Poles usually eat this on Sundays, as a hangover cure.
For soup, I had the Warsaw style tripes (flaki po warszawsku, 8PLN), which warmed the stomach, and, typical of Polish cuisine, is sourish.
For mains, traditional pork fried in lard (tradycyjny schabowy smażony na smalcu, 27PLN) sounds interesting but we weren’t given that option.
The beef cheeks in red wine sauce (Policzki wołowe w sosie z wina czerwonego, 37PLN) comes with Silesian dumplings and pickled cucumber salad). Beef is tough but then, the cuisine is supposed to be homely.
Highlander’s potato pancake with mushroom sauce (placek po zbójnicku, 27PLN) is more interesting because they eat this since young. It’s interesting because there are two ways of eating it. Either dip it in the creamy mushroom sauce for a savoury flavour or sprinkle sugar on it, which is how some people eat roti prata.
Like most homely restaurants, the desserts are not the highlight and what they lack in taste, they make it up for the size. Both hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream (szarlotka na gorąco z gałką lodu waniliowego z bitą śmietaną, 15PLN) and meringue cake with strawberry mousse (torcik bezowy z musem truskawkowym, 15PLN) are just okay. You won’t miss anything if you skip dessert.
I have a rather favorable impression of Karczma pod Strzechą. The food, to be honest, is just so-so but I get to experience what Poles eat everyday. Sometimes when you travel, the experience is more important than the taste of the food, and this is one of the instances.
Karczma pod Strzechą
Dzierżenin 161, 06-114 Dzierżenin, Poland
tel: +48 505 288 126 / +48 602 551 522
7.30am – 10pm
You may be interested in…
–10 Best Food You Must Eat in Poland (Some Have Been Around for Centuries)
–Mokotowska 69, Warsaw Poland: Homely Tavern, Interesting Twist to Traditional Polish Food
–Zoni Restaurant and Vodka Bar, Warsaw Poland: Modern European Restaurant So Popular It Requires Some String Pulling to Get In
–Pałacyk Gozdawa, Poland: We Dined in a Palace, Feasting On Old Polish Cuisine
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.